Dungeons & Dragons Online

Jeremy Crawford’s DM Tip 0

Content of the article: "Jeremy Crawford’s DM Tip 0"

From an OrcaCon livestream today at about the 46:00 mark (punctuation added, minor disfluencies removed):

For me, always, the tip 0, the one that should go before all of the other tips, is listen. That listening that we do as dungeon masters: it’s not simply listening to what our players are saying, or what they might have written in the chat, or sent to us in a text or an email about what they want to see in the game. As DMs we also need to listen by being observant of people’s facial expressions at the table, seeing their body language, what’s bringing them joy, and how can we do more of that. When I’m DMing – and this is true in my home game that I run but it’s also true when people see me run Acquisitions Incorporated – one of the things I am doing most, the thing I am usually pouring more energy into when I am at the table than anything else, is observing the players and what is bringing them joy. What are they laughing at, what are they looking surprised about, what are they joking about. And I’m always then working, okay, how can I build on this sort of platform of bliss that I’m seeing.

Because I view that – not only as a game designer but again more specifically as a DM (because I was a DM of D&D decades before I was a designer for D&D) and to me the goal is the same whether you’re writing for the game or DMing for it – and that is: how can I, by being observant, and by being a compassionate, friendly listener to my players, bring the most joy possible in this little span of time that we’ve got there. Because as I often like to say, D&D is at its heart a co-op game, it’s about us working together. And even though the DM often is in the role of playing the player characters’ adversaries, almost all of us as DMs are – and really this is where we need to be – are rooting for the player characters. Even when I put a really tough fight in front of my player characters, I’m chosen to do so because I’m rooting for them and I want them to feel awesome when they win. Because when you overcome that great obstacle it’s so satisfying. And ultimately at the end I want them to feel awesome.

And you’ll notice earlier in the panel – you know when we were talking about the multiclass abilities and things pairing – and I mentioned your character is meant to be awesome. That is kind of a throughline in D&D: even when the going gets tough, that’s really there in the game so that when you get on the other side of that struggle – and it doesn’t have to be combat; it might be the struggle of diplomacy, trying to convince somebody of something, or trying to get this village to rise up and really stand up for themselves as you and your group lead them in an uprising against a tyrant – whatever it is that you’re doing, it’s about on the other side of it having that sense of satisfaction, of we did it, and we did it together.

Source: reddit.com





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